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The Steven Michaan Collection of North American Tribal Art : The Art of the Spirit World : Woodlands

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands
Maple Sugaring Ladle
Ash Burl, 59” Length, c.1780 -1810

Eastern Great Lakes Woodlands Maple Sugaring Ladle

Maple sugaring was an ancient craft of the Eastern Woodlands Indians and a main source for sugar.

Upon the European colonization of North America, the Woodlands people taught the colonists how to tap the trees and how to harvest the sap during the spring thaw. The large scale of this piece should be noted; it stands just under 5 feet long. Hewn from one piece of ash, the bowl is hewn from a burl, while the handle continues up the straight grain.

Despite its length, it is finely balanced and graceful in form. The lead from the backside of the handle into the backside of the bowl is particularly well resolved and elegant.